8 Lessons Learned from 3 Days in Bed

Aside from two doctors appointments, I have been in bed for the last three days.  Minutes, hours and days in bed.  Even today, I am improving but after getting breakfast for the kids, I felt the need to go back and lay down.

You see, I have a herniated disc in my back (and enlarged facets, but who’s counting).  This is nothing new.  I’ve dealt with it for the last seven or eight years.  I have been through rounds of physical therapy, multiple nerve blocks and have really just learned to ‘manage’ it.  I am usually quite careful with what I do, although if you ask my husband, not careful enough.

Last Saturday, we stained the upper deck and some of the lower.  Did you see my Tweet and picture about the monster grill in my kitchen?  I used an awesome deck staining tool, but not so awesome for bad backs.  And if you’re wondering why Dan didn’t do that part, it was because he sprained his ankle on Friday playing basketball.  He could barely walk.

It wasn’t that I damaged my back by staining, I weakened it.  So in the shower Sunday morning while trying to wash the massive amounts of stain off my toes, my back went out.  The pain was excruciating.

And hence, the last three days in bed.  But at least I’m learning some things.  Here is what I have to share:

1.  There is absolutely nothing good on TV in the afternoon.  Thankfully, my dvr has been occupying a good deal of my time.

2.  Bottles of water brought by your sweet 4 year old daughter taste the best.  

3.  A whole day in bed = the worst bed head ever, even with showers.

4.  It can be hard to sit out on things you wanted to participate in.  Pain helps you not care as much, but I still cried that I wouldn’t be able to be a parent helper for my son’s first field trip and watch him get on his first school bus.  He was so excited that he would be able to ride the bus and I was going to miss it.

5.  The jump to anger is far too easy.  Especially on the first day in bed, I was angry.  This was messing up not only everything I had planned and wanted to get done, but I don’t like being limited.  I also know that this kind of unrelenting pain probably means that laying in bed for a few days won’t solve it.  MRI’s, more rounds of physical therapy, maybe even surgery (ahh!) will be necessary and encroach on my life.

I surprised myself with just how quickly I jumped to anger over this.  But like most other emotions, I had to submit to the Lord and yield.  Sure, He allowed this to happen, but His ways are not my ways.  Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.  ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'”  I can rest in the fact that He loves me, cares for me, knows the big picture and will help me through.

6.  There are far more people in worse situations.  Over the last few days, I have thought of a friend who is on bed rest because of complications with pregnancy and the risk of losing her baby.  I thought of another friend fighting cancer with two little kids and how she is spending a lot of time in bed because of the discomfort and fatigue.  My short-term bed rest can’t compare.

7.  Accepting help becomes a necessity.  It can be hard to accept help from others.  But some situations will leave you without other options.  I am accepting it and being grateful for it.

8.  Grace.  Grace in the messes that are being created around the house, the dishes that are piling up in the sink.  Grace for the situation that keeps me from keeping up.  Those things just have to wait and it.is.ok.

So…You may not see me around as much in the next couple days.  I’m not sure how long until I am up and ‘running.’  (That is actually funny, because if you know me at all, you know I don’t run, even on good days!)  And I may not post as frequently on all the social media networks . . . and that I’m finding is ok, too.

Have you ever had to stay in bed for an extended period of time?  Tell me, what did you learn?